How to be happy. The reason for this topic is because for many years, I felt incredibly unhappy. My husband was an alcoholic and life just wasn’t turning out the way I expected it to be. And it’s because I had all these expectations.
We fell in love. It was a whirlwind romance, and we met and spent one day together, just one day together in Canada. And after that one day, he sent me a ticket, flew me over here to the UK. And after two weeks together, we got engaged. I went back home, packed up my bags and two months later I was living in the UK and perhaps like all young girls do, I had all these ideas about what love and marriage would be like.
I had this vision of the perfect family, living in a perfect house, lovely house with two children, a boy and a girl, having wonderful parties, spending time with friends, going to wonderful new places, just laughing and enjoying life and having the perfect holidays walking hand in hand on the beach. I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s had thoughts like that. And for the most part, I did have a lot of that. I did have the big love. Great, great, great big love. Chris was my one in a million. I didn’t just leave Canada for anybody. He was very, very special. We had children when we did have two children. We had a boy and we had a girl, who are incredibly important to me and I treasure so much. We had the wonderful house. We had the parties with wonderful food, entertaining friends quite often.
And we even had live music at the, everything was lovely. We even had holidays, wonderful holidays and four or five star hotels. Chris loved his beautiful hotels and nice food. There just wasn’t any of the walking hand in hand on the beach.
Our holidays weren’t, weren’t always the best. They were challenging. Typically it ended up being me taking care of the kids while he was exploring, looking for restaurants with wonderful food, chatty staff and I wonderful wine list.
For years, I felt very much alone and this probably had a lot to do with my unhappiness. With my family on the other side of the world, I felt quite alone and somewhere along the way with everything that was unfolding in life, I definitely definitely forgot how to laugh for years I longed to be happy. And I even beat myself up for feeling this way, because I knew I had so much to be grateful for. I just didn’t know what that emptiness was. You know, that empty feeling on the inside. I knew that life wasn’t unfolding the way that I imagined it would.
We appeared to be the perfect family. We had so much, but under the surface, there was a big problem. And there was a really big problem and it was growing, but nobody was acknowledging it. And many times I was even doubting my own sanity, whether the, whether it was a problem or whether it was just me and my inability to be happy. So I thought maybe if I could just feel happy that everything would be fine.
The big question was how to be happy regardless of what was going on in life in life. How, how could I be happy? If you do a Google search, I definitely, wasn’t the only one looking for ways to be happy. If you look on Google trends, you can see that there’s a growing trend. Even more and more people are searching for ways to be happy.
Everyone wants to be happy and you can find all sorts of tips on how to be happy, how to be happy alone, how to lift your mood. There’s so much out there and there’s scientifically proven ways to be happier and believe me, I’ve tried them all. I’ve tried an awful lot of them. If there was a way to be happier, I’d be trying it.
I started to keep a journal of my thoughts and feelings. And I started doing that about 10 years ago. That was one of the things I learned about, you know, how to be happier was to first of all, understand what is it that you’re feeling and to make a note of it. And with the way I did my journaling, quite often, I started the journal entry with the feeling that, that emotion that I was happy having. And that actually makes it quite easy for me to look back over the years and to see how I felt and how those feelings changed over time and what might be going on in my life. In those times to, you know, sort of track some of the patterns that were happening, was it patterns in my behaviour that was leading to the way that I felt.
I did notice with all my journaling, that there was a definite change in the patterns. And the change started to happen about a year ago, just one year ago. And it was at that point where I started to feel the change on the inside.
This is what I’ve done to help me feel happier.
This is just my experience. And if there’s anything in here that might help you, then that would be wonderful. I think the biggest realisation for me and this search for happiness is to realise that for a long time, I was focused on the outcome of being happy. And really that’s not where happiness lies.
Think of happiness, like a tree that bears fruit. aIf you want fruit, you don’t just get that fruit off the tree. There’s a lot of work that needs to go into creating the right conditions for that tree to bear fruit. It needs water, it needs light. It needs nutrients in the soil. It needs good weather, it needs protection. It needs pruning. There’s a lot of things that go into that tree being able to bear fruit and happiness is very much the same way.
So creating the right circumstances, ambiance in your body for happiness is important. And I’ve noticed that over all these years, I’ve been doing different things to take care of my body. And more recently, my mind, my emotions and my energy. So I’ve been running, I’ve been learning yoga, I’ve been doing cold water therapy. I’ve been eating healthy. I’ve been learning to meditate. I’ve been journaling for a really long time. I’ve started writing stories, which has really helped me to express my emotions. I’ve tried some creative things. In addition to the writing, things like painting. I’ve been spending a lot more time with friends, laughing, having fun. And I’ve been making a really focused effort on my energy levels.
I’ve been practising self care. And as a result of taking care of me, I’ve been feeling happier.
And I think another really important thing that I’ve noticed, and this is something that I learned from Tony Robbins. I’ve started to trade expectations for appreciation.
I expected a lot of things in life to happen, and I was always let down things didn’t unfold the way I wanted them to life. And our marriage didn’t happen the way our expected that it would. So I started to focus on things that I could appreciate. It’s not quick and it’s not easy. And quite often you’ll, you’ll even hear it in my voice that I’m sometimes fighting with myself, the new blossome identity as I call it is battling away with the old one at times.
And a friend said to me just the other day that she will hear sometimes echoes of loneliness along with aspirations of hope. That’s definitely me because it’s, it, hasn’t been this simple, easy journey from A to B wanting to be happy and suddenly being happy. It takes some effort. It takes a decision. You’ve got to make that decision to be happy and you’ve got to work at it. It’s something that you need to work at. It might sound like a lot, but you can start with just one thing.
So if there’s one thing that you can take away from this time with me to today, it’s something that I started doing in the early days. And it was looking for Picasso moments. I’m not sure where I heard that phrase. I wish I knew where I heard that phrase. If anybody knows where it comes from, just please let me know because I’d like to give credit back to whomever coined that phrase, but a Picasso Moment is that moment in time, something that you see, you can picture it and you just want to capture it just that little moment, picture it and hold it something so beautiful that you can hold on to that perfect, happy memory and life is filled with these. If you look for them and you begin to train your brain to look for those things, instead of looking for the next drama where the bottle is hidden, or how is something will unfold. What am I, going to find when I walk into the room,? My brain was always focused on the sadness and the negative things that were going on, the things that were out of my control. So if you just focus on looking for the Picasso moments, the happy moments, where focus goes, energy flows! It’s incredibly life-changing when you change what you focus on.
I remember one time when this realisation hit me and it was years ago, um, my daughter was about three or four, I think.
And she was in the back seat of the car and we were driving home. And I remember being so focused on getting home, getting through traffic, starting dinner. What am I going to find when I walk in the house, what’s the evening going to be like. I was just so focused on what I was expecting. And I heard something and I looked up. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw behind me, I saw Ella singing in her car seat, singing away. And she wasn’t a girl who sang very often. She’s very quiet and there she was singing, singing away. And I almost didn’t see it.
It was a beautiful moment . Whatever is going on in your life right now, there are beautiful moments happening around you. Whether they’re Picasso moments that you want to frame forever or just a fleeting moment, there are beautiful moments, happy moments happening around you. You just have to be open to see them. You have to change your focus to look for them, look for the happy moments. So that’s one thing. Just one thing that you can take away from this episode is to start looking for the happy moments and see how that changes your day. Try that one thing. And you never know. You might start smiling again.
Kim Moore is the Founder of Blossome CIC. She lost her husband Chris to alcoholism in 2017. She faced a difficult journey while raising 2 children alone, with her family living on the opposite side of the world. Kim founded the Blossome Community and The Pathway to Peace healing journey so no one would have to feel alone while enduring the trauma of a loved one’s battle with alcoholism or addiction. She is also on a mission to end the generational cycle of alcoholism and addiction in families.